Hearing tests are incredibly important, both for children and adults. According to Tim Votava of Miracle Ear, it is a good idea for all children and adults, and especially those who suffer from conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, to come in for hearing tests and screenings at least once each year.
Votava, who owns five Miracle Ear centers in Cambridge, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Maplewood, and Roseville, Minnesota, says a hearing test does not have to be stressful or scary. He recommends that people coming for their first hearing screenings make sure to bring significant others, relatives, or close friends with them for support. Not only does having a loved one present give the patient a feeling of comfort, but it also gives the hearing instrument dispenser a chance to find out more about how hearing loss may be affecting the patient’s family when he or she is at home.
The first step in any hearing exam is for the examiner to check the patient’s ears. During this examination, the practitioner is hoping to find free, clean ear canals that are not filled with wax or damaged due to trauma or congenital defects of the ears. Once it has been determined that a patient’s ear canals are in good condition, then the examiner will do an in-depth analysis of the patient’s communication situation. This communication analysis is done both with the patient and with his or her loved one. Finally, Votava’s team will do extensive audiometric testing to determine the patient’s amplification needs.
If the patient would like, an expert from Votava’s hearing center can actually program a set of state-of-the-art digital hearing aids on the spot. This gives the patient a chance to hear how it would sound and feel to wear a set of hearing aids, and it sometimes gives patients their first chance to hear how their loved ones’ voices actually sound.
Although Votava encourages people of all ages to have their hearing checked out, he says people over the age of 50 need to come in at least once each year. The older a person gets, the higher the chances that he or she may start suffering from some degree of hearing loss – often without even realizing what is going on. People who suffer from hearing loss are often the last ones to know that they have a problem, since it’s the loved ones and family members who typically notice that something is wrong.